In the wake of litigation settlements between the Museum of Contemporary Art and the City of North Miami, the fate of hundreds of artworks will be decided today. According to an agreement that will go before the North Miami City Council meeting, MOCA will retain about 500 of the 709 works previously held, while 205 will go to the new Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA Miami) created by its former board members.
The agreement states two works by Afro-Caribbean-influenced artist Jose Bedia will stay with MOCA, while two by pop artist John Baldessari will go to ICA. All 20 works by Miami-based Pablo Cano and two by the late street artist Keith Haring will stay with MOCA, while two works by Ana Mendieta and one by British artist Tracey Emin will go to ICA.
Multiple works by artists including Daniel Arsham, Bhakti Baxter, William Cordova, Lynne Golob Gelfman, Mark Handforth, Gabriel Orozco, Ed Ruscha and Robert Rauschenberg will be split between the two institutions, according to the agreement.
However, if MOCA requires any specific pieces to keep its accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums, those works will be given back or the sides can return to litigation, the Miami Herald reports.
ICA Miami was formed by members of the former board, including Alex Gartenfeld, former curator of MOCA and current deputy director of ICA. The board moved out of the MOCA building in North Miami in early August. MOCA and the city of North Miami had been in negotiations over their split since June. Tensions arose between the trustees and the city in December 2013, when news broke that the museum board was in talks to move the collection to the Bass Museum of Art in Miami. A settlement was announced November 12 but no details were released.
According to settlement documents as part of the City Council agenda, the two sides will split the cost of inventorying and inspecting the collection and moving the pieces to the respective museums; the former board will pay about $27,500 to the city for various furniture and equipment taken by the former board to the ICA's temporary site in the Design District; and payments of remaining invoices and account payments to outside vendors will be taken care of by both sides. The amount for those invoices and accounts payable totals more than $65,000 and includes security service, insurance and storage services.
The agreement also says North Miami will keep about $1 million in grant funds and the rights to the "MOCA" name and the nonprofit organization Moca Inc. and that the former board will retain the rights to the membership programs it developed and intellectual property rights over photos of the former board members and their key donors. The former board will retain about $424,000 in grant funds.
"This settlement provides us with an opportunity to understand that in Miami there is a collective will to live together in the art world," MOCA director Babacar M'Bow tells the Herald. "I support ICA, I support other institutions." Representatives of the Institute of Contemporary Art could not be reached for comment by press time.
The City Council will also vote to approve a new 15-member board of trustees and formalize the resignation of the former board. The board is comprised of members of a "steering committee" that was created in September and includes lobbyist Ron Book, developer Richard LeFrak and Karen Mills-Francis, star of the TV show Judge Karen, along with other developers, doctors and attorneys.
Council members will also consider a resolution granting a $500,000 loan to MOCA to support museum operations. The museum would be required to pay back the interest-free loan over the next two years.
The North Miami City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St.
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